As I sit in class this morning waiting for my students to arrive, I cannot help but muse on the Newton's Cradle sitting just a few feet away. You see, my Bible classroom is also the science lab later on in the day, and no good science lab will be without a Newton's Cradle at some point.
The Newton's Cradle is the thingamajiggy (scientific word, that) that has five metal balls hanging in a line from strings attached to bars on each side. If you pull one ball back and then release it into the still stationary other four balls, the three balls in the center stay put, while the ball on the far end goes flying. This device is used to demonstrate the inviolable law of the conservation of momentum and energy, and it works with 100% certainty.
And the 2020 presidential election is what has me musing on that cradle and that principle.
While I am always an active participant in elections at all levels, as every American citizen should be, I also try to step back and be an honest observer and to communicate that in everything I write and say. And, as an honest observer, my evaluation of the 2020 presidential election thus far is that we humans make our own messes.
As I write this, things are still very much up in the air, with legal challenges and recounts looming. By the time this column goes to press, things could be somehow settled and done, but, having lived through the presidential election of 2000 in which Al Gore was believed by many to be the president-elect, and then by December it was clear that George Bush had won, I very much doubt it.
Right now there are allegations of cheating and fraud. And here is where the "Bible stuff" comes in. Human beings are, if nothing else, really good cheaters, and they do a lot of it. Since the fall of man in the garden, all of Scripture and all of history is loaded with examples of mankind's propensity to lie and steal and cheat to get their way.
In Genesis 27, Jacob disguised himself as Esau and deceived his old, blind father into giving him the very valuable blessings that were supposed to go to his older brother. His father-in-law, Laban, turned the tables on him by cheating him into marrying his unattractive older daughter, Leah, instead of his attractive younger daughter, Rachel. That one, by the way, has to take first prize for the greatest con job of all time, I think.
Not to be outdone, though, Jacob spent the next several years cheating Laban out of all of his wealth. And when he and his wives and family left in the middle of the night, Rachel showed that she had fully entered into the game by stealing her daddy's valuable idols and taking them with her.
Years later, during the period of the united kingdom in Israel, Adonijah pulled a political fast one to put himself on the throne instead of Solomon. But when the votes were re-counted, he lost 1-0, since David's vote was the only one that mattered. David himself knew what it was like to have a throne unjustly taken, since his own son Absalom had once done it to him.
We humans haven't really gotten any better with the passing of time. If you doubt that, ask yourselves these questions: Why is five-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong no longer listed as ever having won the Tour de France? Why does no one take Barry Bond's home-run record seriously? Why does the term "deflate-gate" instantly make people say "New England Patriots"? And why does no one in the world actually believe it when murderous genocidal dictators somehow always receive 100% of the vote from the very people they are terrorizing and slaughtering?
But I have good news. Though I do not know whether Joe Biden will actually be the next president, or whether President Trump will continue on into a second term, I do know that another very different kind of administration is coming. Revelation 19-20 tells of a wonderful time we call the Millennial Reign of Christ, a period of 1,000 years when Christ will reign on Earth and everything political will be utterly perfect and flawless. There will be no more election season, no campaign ads, no hanging chads, no cheating, no lawsuits and no left- or right-wing media. Just the unvarnished truth, all day every day, and an administration that never changes hands or policies.
Yes, we humans make our own messes. But just as surely as the ball from the Newton's Cradle goes flying from the other side of the impact, then every single time comes crashing back against it in response, when Christ is on the throne here for a thousand years, that will no longer be an issue. It really isn't a maybe; it is as much a certainty as the principle of the conservation of momentum and energy.
And since certainties are in rare supply these days, I rejoice to think of it.
Bo Wagner is pastor of the Cornerstone Baptist Church of Mooresboro, North Carolina, a widely traveled evangelist and the author of several books available on Amazon and at www.wordofhismouth.com. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.